I was unawares that there is a snow storm forecasted for tonight. Well, perfect blogging weather as I sit in my hammock and watch the flurries continue outside my window! 🤷🏾♀️
What is on your music playlist right now?
I personally enjoy YouTube Music the best for listening to music, and all my music playlists are on there.
I recently started a morning walk playlist, because God has recently been waking me up with songs in my spirit that relate to what I am going through, and these have been encouraging to dwell on when I go on walks outside with Him.
Usually, I let YouTube create a playlist for me based on a song I have in mind or a particular artist. I am one to listen to music from individual artists’ discography on repeat, but once in a while I will use the radio feature to see what YouTube introduces to me. But here are three of my favorites (all are independent):
Jamie Grace… She is a trailblazer in my mind, as she is now independent, but used to be a part of Gotee records (TobyMac). Jamie Grace’s music has morphed into an indie style from her earlier pop days. She also seems to be more accessible as a human. I admire her approach overall, and love how she does not confine herself, though she does have a clear message advocating for awareness for mental health issues and even wrote a book called “Finding Quiet”. She talks about these things on her YouTube and podcast if you are interested in learning about her smart work-life dynamic.
I will share a bit more about why I like the independent approach rather than getting signed with a record label (look out for a future post in which I share what I learned from Michael W. Smith’s team). Briefly, I am not driven to make a living off of music as much as I want to build an effective ministry. That being said, being independent can stilll make you more money than getting signed anyways, depending on your approach. Either way, your approach depends on your goals, but the common thread is building relationships with people who can help you in areas where you are not knowledgeable. This can be with a management group, a label, and simply by building community with a collective of other artists and entrepreneur-types.
Josh Garrels… definitely one of those artists I first heard when in radio mode on YouTube Music. He exhibits a mix of folk, indie…uh… he doesn’t fit in quite one category, in my books. Maybe skater music? At least that’s what I like to call it because of his background story, and I like to listen to his music while roller-skating.
He is my favorite artist by far, because of the uniqueness of his style, biblical references in his music, and overall relevance to life (I know that’s vague, but try his music and it might click 😆). Certainly, the style may not be for everyone, and sometimes I have to be in a certain mood to better absorb it also. I would say my song, Pulling Weeds, is closer to his style of writing…but also, not really that close, as I do not know how to categorize that song myself (see my blog post titled, “Pulling Weeds“). Again, obviously not for everyone. As for me, I am really digging this semi-cyptic poetic-freeverse-indie-folk stuff.
Jonathan Ogden… I look up to this cat for his worship-oriented, contemplative/meditative style. He is a lo-fi-Christian-worship artist. I probably listen to his music the most out of the three mentioned. He may also be the most accessible artist out of the ones mentioned. Highly reccommend: You can join the global discord community he initiated for Christian artists here (he pops in the threads fairly regularly, and I personally can’t keep up with the discussions as much as I would like to).
Furthermore, his writing is heavily based on scripture, and the manner in which he uses the artist platform to glorify God is what I observe as a model for my own ministry, especially considering I desire to travel internationally (he also has pursued ministry endeavors over-seas). He has videos on YouTube that are great discipleship tools, and I would encourage any Christian in the music industry to take note of his intentionality to keep God first and foremost in his life. For artists creating for the kingdom of God, his project Magnify Studios is a helpful resource, to say the least. If you are looking for some neat instrumental study or prayer music, he released a mix-tape relatively recently based on the 24 hours in a day, succinctly called Twenty Four. He also creates visual art, including to brand his own album covers.
There are many more who have inspired me and will continue to do so one way or another: Britt Nicole (❤my❤adolescence❤), Francesca Battistelli, Moriah Peters, 7song, Daniel Martin Moore, and numerous artists in the gospel-music scene. I could not possibly name them all. I also have to credit my dad, and family in general, for fostering in me a musical diversity. God used them to make me feel its ok to explore musical styles like bluegrass and reggae.
So, what’s on your playlist?
#bloganuary2022 (hey! I’m on time this time 😁)